Queen for the Day with Poppy Mardall, Poppy’s Funerals

Poppy FINAL 1It is my privilege to interview the wonderful Poppy Mardall, Director of Poppy’s Funerals – a modern funeral company, providing personal, affordable funerals. Poppy lives in London with her husband and daughter.

I was lucky enough to grow up with Poppy and her family. Even as a toddler, she helped people (even if it was just filling up their buckets with hose water!). Interested in art, she became a Deputy Director at Sotheby’s in London (arguably already a ‘dream job’). But after a series of big life events, including travelling to Ghana and contracting typhoid, during her six month recovery she realised she wanted to do something to help people and that “although death is a scary, and taboo subject, I could help to make funerals a better experience.” So she started her own funeral business.

Poppy’s Funerals won the Natwest Everywoman Demeter Award 2015 and Wandsworth Business Award for Entrepreneur of the Year. 

What would you do if you were Queen for 24 hours?

I’d throw a massive daytime garden party for all the unsung heroes in our communities who work tirelessly in difficult circumstances. There’d be midwives and community nurses and gravediggers and volunteers from excellent charities like Cruse Bereavement Care and Samaritans. The royal wardrobe would be in the middle of the garden in a huge dressing up box so everyone could look smashing.

Who would you make time to see?

I think it would be brilliant to invite all the anti-monarchists to the palace to have one on one chats about the future of the monarchy. It would be like a really intense performance review. I’d want to know why they thought I wasn’t doing my job properly and to find out what they thought I could do better.

What, and where, would you eat, and with whom?

I’d have a barbecue on the roof of Buckingham Palace. Everyone in the royal family would be expected to bring a home made dish. I’d imagine it would be a massive relief to be a royal and get to make your own food once in a while and not be waited on hand and foot. Obviously if I was Queen, that doesn’t mean I would be married to Prince Philip, but I can really see him at this party in charge of making the coleslaw.

Where would you go/visit (i.e. part of the country or attraction)?

I’d spend the day at Alton Towers because it would be ace to have a picture of the Queen on all the rides – you know the pictures they take in the tunnels which catch you off guard and you look terrified/hysterical. In every picture the crown would be flying off my head.

What would you make a public speech about?

As Queen, I wouldn’t be able to miss the opportunity to make a public speech about death. It would be a campaign to get bereavement benefits sorted out, to remove the stigma around simple or local authority supported funerals. Right now people are getting into too much debt to pay for a funeral out of a misguided illusion that this is the way to show how much you loved the person who died.

What would you wear?

Royal purple, velvet, diamond-encrusted dungarees.

What would be your greatest indulgence?

I’d organise luxury beds for every unadopted greyhound across the UK. And possibly even a greyhound spa where they could go to relax.

And finally … what new law would you introduce?

I’d impose mobile device free zones so there are safe spaces you can go where you’ll never feel your conversation is less interesting than a Facebook notification. If you break this rule, you lose the right to access social media for 10 years.

Queen for the Day is a monthly series, interviewing modern-day inspiring, brilliant mothers and workers whom I think deserve 24hrs on the throne. (The Duchess gets enough air time. In this feature, she’ll have to wait her turn…)


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  1. August 27, 2016 / 8:28 am

    Oh my word this is brilliant!! Made me chuckle so much ?? fab post #fortheloveofBLOG

    • August 29, 2016 / 5:45 am

      Thank you – Poppy is amazing and it was so much fun to interview her :)!

  2. August 28, 2016 / 7:18 am

    Ha the Queen on the ride at Alton Towers in dungarees would be a sight to see. Must say those zones do sound fab, I think too many people would either break the law or explode. Anyway congratulations on the awards, that is an amazing achievement and all the best with your business going forward. Excellent Queening too xx thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

  3. August 28, 2016 / 7:19 am

    Definitely should have written #fortheloveofblog. Haven’t had my coffee yet, sorry xx

  4. August 28, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    Funeral business. Now that’s an interesting venture.

  5. August 30, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    Aah what a fab idea for a regular feature! LOVED Poppy’s commitment to the humble greyhound, bless her. Thank you for linking to #Chucklemums with this one, looking forward to reading more in the series. Much love xx

  6. August 31, 2016 / 6:40 am

    I saw the word “funeral” and wondered if this might be a really sad kind of post but this really made me smile, so funny. And I’d love a pic with the Queeen on every single Alton Towers ride! #bloggerclubuk

    • August 31, 2016 / 6:43 am

      Haha – it’s always a bit of a curveball putting something like that in a post but Poppy is so amazing and funerals have never been less taboo than when she started talking about them. Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for your lovely comment. xx

  7. August 31, 2016 / 7:40 am

    I love her final rule! We all need to get off our phones. I would quite like to see pics of the queen on rides at Alton towers too! How funny! Great idea and thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  8. August 31, 2016 / 8:03 am

    What a great read! Poppy’s story is inspirational and I enjoyed immensely the totally original interviewing perspective. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  9. August 31, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    What a wonderful idea for a series. I love Poppy’s answers and I love her story. I need more details!
    My favourite answer is the last answer about mobile phones. I remember when mobiles were a fairly new invention…I was working as a pharmacist in a community pharmacy and I was serving a customer whose phone rang and they answered it despite me serving them. I was so shocked at how rude it was…Now it seems to be par for the course. Am I just getting old?!!

    Great post!!! #bloggerclubuk

  10. September 1, 2016 / 10:28 am

    ooo a BBQ on the roof of Buckingham Palace with the Royals bringing a dish each – i love the sound of this! Thanks for linking up to #EatSleepBlogRt

  11. September 1, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    I must admit I did think “WTF?” when I saw you’d submitted this post for #chucklemums! But of course it made me smile – what a lovely, funny post. And a fabulous idea for a series 🙂

  12. September 2, 2016 / 8:11 am

    I am loving this series and I want those dungarees! #FridayFrolics

    • September 3, 2016 / 6:01 pm

      Thanks Claire – I’m really glad you like it and I think a dress up box is a MUST for any royal or otherwise! #FridayFrolics

  13. September 2, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    This is a great interview! Where can I get some purple diamond encrusted dungarees from?! #EatSleepBlogRT

    • September 3, 2016 / 6:00 pm

      Thank you; she is amazing. I’m sure there’s a gap in the market for them! x

  14. September 4, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    Lovely that she’s trying to do something different, I feel like funeral worker is seen as such a taboo job whereas anything that can help someone suffer a loss is something to be pretty proud of. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  15. September 4, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    What a wonderful reason to start a funeral business. She also sounds like a lovely and jazzy woman! I’d love to eat on tthe top of Buckinham Palace too, imagine the views! #marvmondays

  16. September 7, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Great series, also great idea to interview a friend! Love the dungaree response haha #stayclassymama

  17. September 8, 2016 / 1:45 am

    Great series! Diamond encrusted dungarees!!

    Thanks so much for joining us on #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time

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